The youthful United States team cruised to a 99-72 win over New Zealand in the opening round of the FIBA World Cup on Saturday in Manila, Philippines.
Six U.S. players scored in double figures, led by Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero. The NBA Rookie of the Year finished with 21 points and hit 8-of-10 shots. He also blocked four shots and tallied four rebounds.
The U.S opened the game sluggishly and trailed by 10 points in the first five minutes. Banchero provided a spark off the bench, though, when he entered the game in the sixth minute and replaced Brandon Ingram. The U.S. went on an 8-0 run from that moment, with six points from Banchero.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to give the U.S. its first lead of the game.
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Both teams traded buckets for most of the second quarter before the U.S. pulled away with a bounty of free throws. The U.S. entered halftime with a 45-36 lead and continued to build on it for the rest of the game.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards led the rest of the U.S. with 14 points and seven rebounds in the win. Reaves and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. both scored 12 points apiece, with six assists from Reaves and four rebounds from Jackson. Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson both scored 10 points.
The U.S. next faces Greece on Monday. Greece will be without Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had already announced he would miss the FIBA World Cup after undergoing offseason knee surgery.